The author deals with a wide array of topics touching on religion, set roles and the family, law, and social change, all of which are basic issues in the structure of social life and arouse the strongest feelings among people. The author approaches these disputed questions with very high qualifications: a deep, personal familiarity with Islam and a scholar’s knowledge of it as well as of modern social science. He considers how religious inspiration, law and social conditions during the first four centuries of Islam together shaped ideas about what the family system of Muslims should become. He squarely confronts the most difficult issues of scholarship and morals concerning Islam, such as plural marriage, modes of divorce, social equality in mating, and “sensuousness”. He not only sheds light on these old questions but asks us to contemplate why they continually arise.